Beautiful original wooden panel removed from the lower part of the 'front door' of the White House on the North Portico as part of its renovation during the Truman administration. The panel was given to James Paul Hauck (commonly known as J. Paul Hauck), who supervised the project while employed by McShain, Inc. Constructed of handsome dark and light wood, the panel measures 16.25″ x 27″ and features scalloped marquetry inlay designs in the corners, bordered by a thin blonde line. It exhibits an 8″ hairline crack to the right side, which is why it was removed from the door to be replicated and replaced. A wire has been attached to the reverse so that it can be displayed in a landscape orientation.
Also includes nine oversized 24″ x 21.5″ pages of renovation plans for the remodel from Hauck's collection, prepared by the "Commission on Renovation of the Executive Mansion," the first eight marked, "Revised, Jan. 31, 1950." The complete floorplans include "Basement Plan," "Basement Mezzanine Plan," "Ground Floor Plan," "Underground Mech. Area (Ground Floor Level)," "First Floor Plan," "Mezzanine Floor Plans, Bet. 1st & 2nd Fl. : Bet. 2nd & 3rd Fl.," "Second Floor Plan," "Third Floor Plan," and "Basement Tunnel Plan."
Accompanied by a letter of provenance from Dr. D. C. Bruckner, whose wife was the niece of Beulah 'Bootsie' Hauck, wife of J. Paul Hauck. In part: "This panel is one of the two panels removed from the Whitehouse front door during the complete renovation of the Whitehouse during the Truman Administration in the early 1950s. There were only two panels in the door and were removed because they were cracked. The panels were removed by James Paul Hauck, who was in the complete charge of this tremendous undertaking. The second panel was given to the cabinetmaker who duplicated the original panels." Also includes a photograph of a diagram of the North Portico door provided by the White House Historical Association, photocopied negatives from 1958 showing that the door had been replaced by a glass security door at that time, and a letter from the Library of Congress indicating that they had been unable to locate representative photographs of the North Portico door pre-dating the Truman renovation. An image taken by official White House photographer Pete Souza during the Obama administration shows a very similar panel on an interior door in the White House's Cross Hall.
J. Paul Hauck's dedicated service to John McShain (known as 'The Man Who Built Washington') and his company, McShain, Inc., is detailed in multiple books, including The Pentagon: A History by Steve Vogel and The Hidden White House by Robert Klara. As a construction supervisor for McShain, Hauck worked on a number of the most important projects that shaped the skyline of the nation's capital: the Pentagon, the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the significant White House remodel, the Jefferson Memorial, the Kennedy Center, and several others. Presented with this piece of the White House for his invaluable services, it is a truly incredible artifact of American history.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.